TAG Summer 2020 Update

By August 14, 2020TAG

It has been a challenging time on many fronts in our world. Health, social, and political unrest promise even more challenges in the months ahead. While we can encourage our world leaders to act, we can all contribute directly in our own communities and create the change we want to see in the world. Now. Ourselves. Here. Where we live.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are paramount for our organization. Technology is a fantastic catalyst for equality when used with good intent. With these values forward in our minds we recognize that we can do so much more as an organization. Mindfully. Purposefully. With our new pandemic reality, and generations of inequality and injustice demanding action, we must rise and be better. Listen. Adapt. Evolve.

Evolution

I am proud to announce the filing of Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington as a new 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization effective July 31, 2020. This change largely reflects our evolved focus on technology education, workforce development, and community engagement.  With this new focus we will provide direct educational programs and services, and launch new community collaborations to support these efforts.

Our transition plans were announced at TAG Bash last summer, and simply: operating as a 501(C)(3) organization allows us greater flexibility with donations and financial support, provides similar operating benefits, and more appropriately aligns with our mission:

Advocate for technology education, foster innovation, assist business and workforce development, and provide community for students, professionals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local government in Northwest Washington.

For our sponsors and members: All existing arrangements will be transferred, and we’ll launch our fall programs with new benefits and activities while maintaining our major programs and events.

New Education Programs

Our education programs launching this fall include creation of the Whatcom STEM Network in support of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for PreK-20 students, facilitation of Career Connected Learning experiences, and partnership with Whatcom Community College to develop a new Software Development academic program.

Whatcom STEM Network

In partnership with Northwest Washington STEM, TAG will lead and facilitate the Whatcom STEM Network with participation from schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local government throughout Whatcom county. Planning is underway, and initial programs and services will be provided this fall. We are excited to provide and support STEM programming for all students of all backgrounds, and particularly those programs designed to reach our underserved and underrepresented communities. We invite you all to join us in creating a better world for everyone — and most importantly for our children.

Whatcom Community College Software Development Program

Last month we shared the fantastic news that Whatcom Community College was awarded a Career Connect Washington grant to create a new Software Development academic program. TAG is honored to partner and assist program development with WCC, which will include facilitating education, community, and industry partners to ensure student success in a work-based learning environment. Program development has already begun, with initial student enrollment and program launch in Fall 2021, pending approval.

TAG Student Memberships

TAG Student Memberships are now unlimited at the same price! ($25) This includes participation in all events and programs, such as TAG Mentorship. In addition to several new student support programs such as job seeker resources, this new structure will greatly expand the value and access that we can provide to students in our community.

TAG Mentorship

The TAG Mentorship program is underway. Mentors and Mentees were intelligently paired and also are participating in a cohort model for shared discussion, resources, expertise, and experience. A mentorship knowledgebase will be launched to collect shared learnings and guidance. TAG Mentorship will relaunch this fall and follow the collegiate calendar with TAG Mentorship Applications open for both mentors and mentees in October, pairing and introductions in November, cohort completion in May, and celebrated at TAG Bash in July.

TAG Consulting

The TAG Consulting program continues to provide guidance to both businesses and nonprofit organizations. If you would like TAG to provide assistance to your organization, please see the TAG Consulting Application. Interested to support a local nonprofit organization in our community? See below on how to volunteer.

TAG Thought Leadership

We are honored to announce the formation of TAG Thought Leadership, a new TAG Community Group composed of management-level peers addressing topics of social and cultural importance, including diversity, equity, and inclusion. Participation in the group is currently by invitation only due to the sharing of sensitive and confidential information. If you are able to both represent and influence your organization regarding these topics and would like to participate, please contact me at director@tagnw.org. TAG will be incorporating learnings and recommendations from the group into our own programming to benefit the whole community.

TAG Expo

TAG Expo has been launched as a year-round series of workforce development events and activities and a new website. The Expo website will expand with new organization profiles, job seeker support resources, and will highlight events and activities restarting in September.

TAG Bash

Next month we will host TAG Bash featuring our Student Scholarship Fundraiser. We’ll celebrate technology education in our community, recognize previous scholarship awardees, appreciate your many scholarship donations, and kick-off a new scholarship fundraising campaign for the new year. We’ll have a digital fundraising campaign for the month of September, feature fun virtual events, and announce several exciting new changes to the TAG Scholarship format.

TAG Summit

TAG Summit returns in October reformatted as a virtual technology conference. We’ll largely expand and virtualize the format launched last year, featuring separate tracks for Cybersecurity, IT, Engineering, Leadership, and Software Development. New this year will be tracks featuring Digital Marketing and Emerging Technologies. Our Save the Date and Call For Presentations for TAG Summit will be announced shortly.

Leadership Update

I’ve fully stepped into the role of Executive Director, leaving behind the Interim title. I continue to develop the future of TAG and evolve our organization with the support of a new generation of TAG Leadership with a passion for technology education and community service.

Volunteers

Thank you to the many folks that volunteer their time, expertise, and guidance to support our community. If you would like to help volunteer to assist any TAG events or programs, please contact me at director@tagnw.org. We’d love to have you join us.

Upcoming

Stay tuned for our September Newsletter and Fall Update, which will officially announce and launch many of these great new programs with final details. We’ll have a busy fall with TAG Expo, Bash, Summit, Mentorship, Consulting, Whatcom STEM Network, and WCC’s new Software Development program.

 

Be informed. Be safe. Stay healthy. We’ll see you soon.

 

Michael Gan
Executive Director
Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington